The Schmooze

The Best Beach Books, And More To Read, Watch, And Do This Weekend

The longest day of the year has come and gone, but there’s plenty of summer left to enjoy. Whether you plan to get out and soak up the sun, or stay in and bask in the cool comfort of your air conditioning, we know just how you should spend your weekend.

1) Read

With a dearth of new Jewish-interest books out this week, bring a longtime favorite along to the beach. Judy Blume’s heady “Summer Sisters” might do the trick, or William Goldman’s perennially lovable “The Princess Bride.” For sweeping drama, look to Michael Chabon’s “The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay” or Natalia Ginzburg’s “Family Lexicon.”

2) Watch

Based on what we’ve heard so far, we can’t exactly recommend the new “Transformers” movie. Still, if you’re eager to test out Nathan Abrams’s theories about why the series of which it’s a part is quintessentially Jewish, by all means buy a ticket. For a summer flick with more substance and less world-bashing, find a screening of the Michael Showalter-directed and Judd Apatow-produced romantic comedy “The Big Sick.”

3) New York

In New York, escape the heat at the Metropolitan Museum’s exhibit for the centennial of legendary fashion photographer Irving Penn or the Jewish Museums’s striking “Florine Stetthemier: Painting Poetry.” (You can read my review of the former here, and the latter here.) Other good options: A rare comprehensive tour of Manhattan’s gorgeous Temple Emanu-El, L.A. Dance Project, featuring work by Benjamin Millepied — yes, that’s Mr. Natalie Portman — and Israel’s Ohad Naharin, at the Joyce, and the Anne Kaufmann-directed “Marvin’s Room” on Broadway.

4) Washington D.C.

It’s a weekend for theater in the capital! Check out Theater J’s production of Arthur Miller’s “Broken Glass,” Mosaic Theater Company’s production of Hanna Eady and Edward Mast’s Herzliya-set “The Return,” or both.

5) Chicago

There are good theatrical options to choose from in Chicago, too: Get swept away by Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “The King and I,” or imagine the hellish afterlife of Dr. Joseph Goebbels and Nazi filmmaker Leni Riefenstahl at Akvavit Theatre’s “Hitler on the Roof.” A visit to the Art Institute of Chicago is also in order; the exhibit “Along the Lines: Selected Drawings by Saul Steinberg” is a can’t-miss.

6) Los Angeles

In Los Angeles, spend your Friday night at the Last Bookstore with Jonathan Goldsmith, the so-called “Most Interesting Man in the World,” who will discuss his memoir “Stay Interesting.” (Before you go, read the Forward’s Becky Scott’s interview with the man himself.) And Saturday or Sunday, take a trip to Graceland at the Skirball Cultural Center’s exhibit “Paul Simon: Words & Music.”

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The Best Beach Books, And More To Read, Watch, And Do This Weekend

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